Every community has its landmarks. Some stick around for a long time, even beyond the thing that caused them to be landmarks. I grew up in Greene County, Tennessee with such landmarks in my neck of the woods as the twin barns (now gone), dead man’s curve (no longer has much traffic due to by-pass), red gate (never seen a red gate any where near there), the broom factory (it’s not been there for almost 100 years), tin top, and a few others. All of which I know exactly where they are but if you haven’t lived there a while and learned the jargon you’d be as confused as hell by the directions from Mosheim “go out 11E toward Greeneville stay on it through dead man’s curve keep follerin’ it past the broom factory and make yer right between the twin barns.”
Every time I’ve moved into a new community I’ve had to learn the local landmarks and jargon. The South seems to have more and more colorful ones than any other area I’ve lived. They are the basis for directions from the locals. Something that was much more important back in the days before everyone had a GPS. I’ve been in new towns following sketched directions on a paper towel looking for the two clowns so I could turn left all before the days of GPS.
Kenosha has a few but with the system of streets and avenues being numbered you don’t need them so much. Streets here run East West or as I remember it they go Splash into the lake S for street ya see. The higher the number the further North from the Illinois boarder you are. Avenues on the other hand go North South Along the lake, A for Avenue ya see. The higher the number the further west away from the lake you are. Got it? Simple if an address is 7563 19th Avenue (don’t know who that is just made it up) That place is between 75th and 76th Street on 19th Avenue. Given this system Kenosha doesn’t do much landmark directions but there are a few things that people reference.
The first is the Hob Knob. It was established in 1954 in the supper club style of the 50s. It’s kitchy by today’s standards but fun. Sitting right on the shore of Lake Michigan the views are unsurpassed. I’ve only eaten there once years ago. I don’t remember much about the food but I do remember the decoration made me expect to see Frank Sanatra lead in the Brat Pack telling them this was hip little dinner club just North of Chicago he was talking about.
I snapped this picture as we drove by in the Mustang. Yes the top was down and I was enjoying myself. I always like the big Cosmo painted on the side of the building. It just lets you know what you are in for when you go inside. Dining there again but this time calling to be sure we get seats that face the lake is on our Kenosha bucket list. Last time we had seats that faced the street but we walked in and took what’s available. I really need to go by there at night when the neon is all lit up and snap some more shots.
Next up is a place on my Kenosha Bucketlist. It’s been on the Food Channel as a great road trip stop. Yes I’m speaking of none other than Kenosha’s cheese royalty the Mars Cheese Castle! It’s been recently rebuilt to look more castle like. However they kept their iconic sign. Being next to the interstate where they get most of their business I’m told, it’s good to keep the logo.
I’ve lamented that I have been delinquent in going into the Cheese Castle. I mean I’ve been in and to the Brat Stop many times. (subject of another post but let me say it’s not a place you stop for misbehaving kids but a bratwurst place). I’ve taken the exit from I-94 where it sits to head home as I did on the evening I snapped this photo. But I’ve never gone into the place. The locals tell me not to worry, it’s a tourist trap being the first big cheese place just north of Chicago. It’s more known in the community for the iconic sign. Well that I’ve seen so maybe that’s good enough.
It seems that landmarks in Kenosha are food related. There are more I’ll cover in the future there’s the afore mentioned Brat Stop, Sunnyside Wine Shop and Bar, Frank’s Diner, Capt Mike’s (gourmet mac’n’cheese), D’Angleos and several more. Let me know what are your local landmarks and how are they used? What were the landmarks of your childhood? I’m thinking now when I go back to visit I’ll have to get photos of tin top, broom factory, and others too.
Until next time!